If the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has its way, soon athletes, and even coaches, returning from international meets or coming back from training abroad, will be searched for banned substances at the airport, like they are in other countries. This is despite the fact that possession of banned substances is not a criminal offence, like in most European countries.
“With some top athletes testing positive, we have to take radical steps to curb doping,” said Rahul Bhatnagar, NADA director general. “We will speak to Customs and make it mandatory to check all athletes who are returning from competition or training from abroad. We will also check coaches as well and if needed, the officials.” NADA will intensify its sampling of core athletes who are likely in Olympics next year.
'Coaches must be monitored'
Bhatnagar said coaches would be made more accountable. “We will instruct all employers (Sports Authority of India and federations) to keep a close watch on their activities. The foreign coaches also must be watched closely. “How can a coach, who has been with an athlete for so many seasons say he doesn't know what's happened to the athlete?” he quipped. “But even the athletes must come out and say something against the coaches.” From now on, the raids will be more frequent and will include coaches also.